Document Type

Activities and Labs


DiCamillo, Kate Because of Winn-Dixie--Study and teaching (Elementary);


Today’s elementary classrooms are becoming more diverse, requiring teachers to provide effective instruction to children with a wide range of academic performance, ability, background, and interest. This work focuses on the development of a menu of differentiated instructional activities for teaching literacy to upper elementary students. The author, a former elementary teacher, worked with a faculty member and her literacy methods class of undergraduate preservice elementary teachers to develop this teaching unit based on a popular, award-winning children’s novel (DiCamillo, 2000). The menu of various activities organized in ten different intelligence areas (logical-mathematical, linguistic, bodilykinesthetic, spatial, musical, interpersonal, intrapersonal, naturalist, moral, and spiritual) and arranged at different levels of Bloom’s taxonomy (knowledge, comprehension, application, analysis, synthesis and evaluation) allows a teacher to easily select assignments designed to deepen comprehension or appreciation of this literary work to meet the individual needs of students. Each activity is accompanied by an example correct response so that teachers may gauge its demands. The reactions of preservice teachers to this project from beginning to end were examined. Before participation in the project, preservice teachers emphasized fame and recognition as being motivators and effects of publication. After participation in the project, they focused on the effects of the work on their employment opportunities, emphasizing a sense of accomplishment and downplaying fame/recognition. [5 tables, 11 references, 2 appendices]


Department of Curriculum and Instruction

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